Preparing for Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday

Join us this week for our Holy Week services! Our annual Maundy Thursday service is at 6:30pm and our Easter Sunday service is at 10:30am. At Faith we've always treated our Maundy Thursday service like a Good Friday service. During this service we walk through the gospel stories beginning with the Passover meal with the disciples to his crucifixion. On Easter Sunday we celebrate his triumphal resurrection. Here are the songs we'll sing together in these two services:

Maundy Thursday

1. OH THE DEEP DEEP LOVE OF JESUS

Style: We will play this song in its traditional style. The traditional version lends itself well to adding drums and it has the feel of a rolling waltz. It is mid-tempo and somber.

Song Info: This popular hymn was written by Samuel Trevor Francis in the nineteenth century. The limitless, unfathomable depths of the love of Jesus for his people is the great subject of this song. Here we sing that Jesus' love is: "vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!". Our sin may be great, but it is measurable. Even our sin has its limit. But the scope of our sin is not comparable to the love of Jesus. His love is "unmeasured, boundless". It is infinitely greater than our sin.

We incline our ears to hear of this love in the sermon and so this song should prepare our hearts to hear the word of God.

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2. GO TO DARK GETHSEMANE

Style: This is a very old tune played in choral and medieval style. It is dark, somber, and prayerful.

Song Info: You're not likely to hear this particular version of this hymn anywhere but at Faith. That's because we've combined the lyrics with a different melody. The lyrics were written in 1825 by James Montgomery, a prolific poet and hymn writer. The melody we use goes by the name of Aberystwyth, composed by Joseph Parry in 1876. This tune is most commonly paired with Charles Wesley's Jesus, Lover of My Soul.

This song causes the singers to accompany Jesus to the garden of Gethsemane to witness his prayers and suffering. It calls us to learn from Jesus how to pray. We then follow Jesus to his trial and observe his quiet acceptance of condemnation. It calls us to learn from Jesus how to bear the cross. From there we follow Jesus to Calvary's mountain and witness his crucifixion. The song calls us to learn from Jesus how to die to self. Finally we accompany Jesus to the empty tomb and observe the risen Lord. We are called to learn from Jesus how to rise.

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3. AH, HOLY JESUS

Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is low-tempo and perfectly suited for post-sermon reflection and preparation for the Lord's Supper.

Song Info: Ah Holy Jesus is a German hymn from 1630 by Johann Heermann. The tune itself was composed by Johann Crüger but has been used by various other composers including JS Bach and Johannes Brahms. It has a beautiful and enduring melody and equally beautiful lyrics. The song is a meditation upon the cross. Why was innocent Jesus crucified? It was not because of his sin, but ours. "Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered. The slave hath sinned and the Son hath suffered". The song concludes with a confession that we can by no means repay Jesus. All that is left for us to do is adore him and offer our lives as sacrifices of thanksgiving to the king.

Sheet MusicAudio

4. HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR (MAN OF SORROWS)

Style: We will play this song in its traditional style. It is low to mid-tempo but done in a major key, having lots of energy, and with a very triumphant feel. The style of this song reminds me of classic gospel music.

Song Info: This song was composed in the mid nineteenth century by Philip P. Bliss. Bliss was a music teacher, evangelist, and hymn writer from the Ohio and Pennsylvania areas. He was responsible for composing many famous hymns including the melody for It Is Well With My Soul. The lyrics to this particular song have had an abiding power in the Christian world since they were penned. The title for JI Packer and Mark Dever's recent book on the atonement - "In My Place Condemned He Stood" - was lifted right from the lines of this hymn.

The subject matter of this song focuses on the cross and the humility of Christ, our king. As the song reflects on the humility and servanthood of Christ to suffer for our sins it continually returns to the anthem: Hallelujah! What a savior! It's appropriate at this moment in worship because we are turning from praising God for his goodness to recognizing our own sinfulness and need for a great savior.

Sheet MusicAudio

5. O SACRED HEAD NOW WOUNDED

Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is melodic, beautiful, and low-tempo.

Song Info: The lyrics to this hymn were originally written in Latin and date back to the Middle Ages - possibly to Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153). The music itself was written by Hans Leo Hassler in the seventeenth century and was harmonized by JS Bach. The tune has also been appropriated by pop musician Paul Simon for his "American Tune" so it is very familiar. The content of the song is a meditation on the agony of the cross intermingled with a meditation on our own sinfulness. As we sing we recognize that the suffering that Jesus faced was the suffering due to us because of our sin. The song ends in a grateful expression of love for our God and savior who would humble himself to suffer on our behalf.

Sheet MusicAudio

6. WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS

Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is low-tempo, prayerful, and joyful.

Song Info: This hymn was first published by Isaac Watts in 1707. This hymn is loosely based on Galatians 6:14 - "But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." But it is also an historically significant English hymn because it was one of the first to depart from only paraphrasing Scripture to writing original verse. This has grown to become a beloved hymn that's been reimagined many times since its first appearance.

This hymn is a meditation on the cross and so is an appropriate song to help us respond to the sermon and prepare our hearts for the Lord's Supper. The second stanza, in particular, is a worthy meditation:

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

Both this stanza and Galatians 6:14 say that we should boast in Christ alone. This means that when we talk about ourselves we should not boast in our own accomplishments, power, or character. We should boast about what God has done for us in Christ. Such boasting actually helps those who hear it because the same Jesus that has helped us is also available to them.

Sheet MusicAudio

Easter Sunday

1. COME PEOPLE OF THE RISEN KING

Style: This is an up-tempo contemporary hymn that is performed in a celtic style. The usual instrumentation for this hymn would include various strings, piano, and even wind instruments. We'll be playing this song with viola, cello, guitar, and piano. It should make for a beautiful arrangement.

Song Info: This song was written in 2007 by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend. Townend is an English born worship leader and modern hymn writer who is responsible for hymns such as: "In Christ Alone" and "How Deep The Father's Love For Us". His songs are often mistaken to be classic, traditional hymns. This song functions as a great call to worship because it is calling the people of the risen king to come and worship him - whoever they may be. "Come young and old from every land, men and women of the faith". This song reminds us that Jesus, by his death and resurrection, has created a most diverse people that includes men, women, young, and old from every tribe, nation, and tongue.

Sheet MusicAudio

2. LIFT HIGH THE CROSS

Style: We will sing the traditional version of this song. It is low-tempo but triumphant and joyful.

Song info: This is another classic easter hymn that has an especial emphasis on Christian mission. It was written by George Kitchin in 1887 and set to the tune we'll be singing by Michael Newbolt in 1916. This song is rife with biblical imagery and allusions to Scripture - many from John's Gospel. Jesus said that when he was lifted up from the earth he would draw all men to himself. So we believe that when the cross of Christ is preached that the Holy Spirit uses it to draw the people of God to repentance and faith.

Sheet MusicAudio

3. CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY

Style: We will be singing the traditional version of this famous easter-hymn. It is up-tempo and celebratory.

Song info: This is a hymn written for Easter by Charles Wesley in 1739. Yet even in 1739, Christian song writers were taking older hymns and contemporizing them. This one was based on an older hymn by the same name that came from the 14th century. The words are set to the tune Lyra Davidica which comes from John Baptist Walsh in 1708. The content of this song focuses on the resurrection of Jesus and what it means for us. It is heavily imbued with Scripture and connects Jesus' resurrection with our hope of resurrection.

Sheet MusicAudio

4. O SACRED HEAD NOW WOUNDED

Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is melodic, beautiful, and low-tempo.

Song Info: The lyrics to this hymn were originally written in Latin and date back to the Middle Ages - possibly to Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153). The music itself was written by Hans Leo Hassler in the seventeenth century and was harmonized by JS Bach. The tune has also been appropriated by pop musician Paul Simon for his "American Tune" so it is very familiar. The content of the song is a meditation on the agony of the cross intermingled with a meditation on our own sinfulness. As we sing we recognize that the suffering that Jesus faced was the suffering due to us because of our sin. The song ends in a grateful expression of love for our God and savior who would humble himself to suffer on our behalf.

Sheet MusicAudio

5. NEW AGAIN

Style: This song is up-tempo with a very celebratory spirit. It is perfect as a benedictorial, sending song. Worship will conclude with a recognition that Christ has risen in victory and a call to go and tell the world.

Song Info: This song was written and produced by Brooks Ritter and Mike Cosper of Sojourn Church in Louisville Kentucky. It is a celebration of the victory of the resurrection. "Death is defeated and Jesus reigns, tell the world there is hope in his name". In the name of Jesus we have hope that, though we will suffer death, we too will rise in victory. Death cannot defeat the people of God because death could not defeat Jesus - the king of God's people. This song sends us out into the world in hope and with the message of the gospel in our heart and on our lips.

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See you Thursday!